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A Quick Guide to Map Reading in Guild Wars 2

When you log into guild Wars for the first time it can be a little overwhelming. First off, you have some fantastic graphics to look at...

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Places in Tyria - Kryton Freeholds




Kryton Freeholds







Kryton Freeholds Questing begins in the Vineyards.  there are grubs to pull up and defeat and there is an event that spawns once you follow the quest lines.  






There is also a vista point here and I managed to get some screen shots of the whole area as I unlocked the Vista point.






As the weeks go on I am hoping to put up several character builds that will suit a casual player wishing to solo the game so keep checking by because I will keep updating as I myself discover new things in Guild Wars 2.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

A Quick Guide to Map Reading in Guild Wars 2

When you log into guild Wars for the first time it can be a little overwhelming.

First off, you have some fantastic graphics to look at as you play through the game, I will advise my graphics are optimised for a mid range pc and even they are great.

You also have to get used to not running around looking for quest givers as per standard MMO's.


The First time I opened up the map I was a little confused as all I could see were symbols everywhere it slowed me down while playing as I had no idea what I was heading towards so here are some quick guidelines on what the icons mean on the map.


Starting at the top of the Map you have an incomplete Questing Area.  this is an area you may not have ventured into as yet or you may have started questing here but left to do something else and forgot about finishing the quest.  If you hover over these whilst in Map mode it tells you what level the area is so you know whether to try that area out or not.

Way-point in Game


Underneath that you have a Way-point that has been unlocked.  If the way-point was locked to you it would not be filled in blue but you would still see an empty,uncoloured, way-point.  You can use way-points for quick travel to any point on the map as long as you have unlocked them by previously visiting so these are really handy.
You then have the Skill point icons.  These are Quests that gain you skill points and can vary in difficulty.  If these are in filled blue, this means you have completed them, if they are however, only blue outlines, this means you can complete it.  to gauge the level check the closest heart symbol to the skill point icon.

Current live events happen in specific areas throughout the day you can join in if you happen to pass through but you don't have to.  They normally don't last overly long however if the event fails, another is set up to correct the failed event.  If there is a Way-point within the area of this symbol it will show as contested (showing two swords crossed over it) and you will not be able to use that way-point until the event is successfully completed.


Vista's are represented by two triangular symbols outlined in red if you have not discovered them as yet.  Once discovered they are in filled with red too.
These are always up high and often complicated to get too using calculated jumps and climbs to reach them.

Your Personal Quest line Takes you through to level 20 based on your choices of background during character creation and the Green star on the map is where you are due to go next.

I hope that covers things for you, there will be more on Guild Wars 2 over the coming weeks so please feel free to pop back and check out some more quick guides for beginners and Casual players.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Rift - Places Stonefield



 When you play a defiant (who, by the way are the better faction, kidding!),  don’t rant at me yet heh heh.  Anyway, the second zone a Defiant is sent too after finishing all the quest lines in Freemarch is Stonefield.

I decided to write a post to help a new player get to Stonefield and then to Quarrystone Basin which is your first main questing hub in Stonefield.  If you are a new player Stonefield can be a little confusing as it is surrounded by mountains and mountain passes so if you take a wrong turn you can end up in part of Stonefield you are not quite ready for.

On the map you will see two paths leading around a mountain and a blue triangle on the map.  The blue triangle is me in Quarrystone basin.  You can take either road to get there but if you are not in the mood to battle your way all the way there you would be best to take the road at the top as you only have to battle little rock dudes and rams (which you need for a quest anyway)  The other path is more crowded with mobs and is a longer route.  



In picture one you can see the bridge over the Arc leading to Kings Retreat; if you go in the opposite direction and follow the bridge to the side I my character is standing on, yup, she’s the one in the green standing beside her loyal boar, this takes you to Stonefield.  By the way, keep your eyes open for shiny objects (Shiny's)  they are hidden up high or in little corners you would never think to look, see them in the pictures, they sparkle like little gems.  They are collectible and you get some great rewards for handing in completed collections.  I digress though.

The first thing you see upon entering Stonefield is the Wardstone.  This particular wardstone is always one of the first to be attacked during an invasion.  The Coterie Camp Wardstone is the one that normally falls during an invasion. 

I digress again,  When you speak to the two NPC’s their they will give you quests to kill the rams and collect ore from the little rock dudes.  This is where it is better to turn into the mountain pass if you want to avoid battling all the way their (it takes you along the top path in the map)rather than go straight ahead. 





Once you reach the Basin you can then bind to the porticulim there or just click on the porticulim master to open that one up to you for future use.  In the pictures around form the Basin camp you can see a little lone tent, this is your first quest area in the Basin zone…Hope this helps and good luck with the giants there!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

A little more about Everquest II - Writs in Freeport

You may notice that the first post was about Neriak Writs which is a city from the ‘Evil faction’  So I am now going to give you some advice on how to find Writs in Freeport… Another ‘Evil faction’.  What?  I can’t help it, I am just drawn to the dark side; chuckle.

Writs for Neriak are here, also a little tiny intro about the game.

Everquest is a MORPG that does exactly what it says on the tin, Quests are forever, you never run out of quests in this game and there is always something to do.

You can log on and quest, craft, design your very own house (or in my case my very own 15 houses) or you can level and play the dungeons as you go.  It is a well established MMO with loads to do and regular expansions out every year or two. 

Writs are quests that gain you faction points within certain factions, you can then use their vendors to buy things with your faction status points.   Freeport is also one of the evil factions along with Neriak.  It is a city built along the coast and its kind of rough but still looks awesome with many winding streets and back alleys.  If you are new to the game it’s easy to become lost in freport so here are your Writ NPC’s to help you on your way.


You can get writs from the following NPC’s in Freeport:

Freeport Militia - West Freeport
Trooper Boneshaw and Liege Helvanica

Dismal Rage - North Freeport  (Opposite Library)
Convert Y’Ral and Occultist Leuonicus

Academy of Arcane science - North Freeport  (In the Library)
Neophyte Jhanor and Archivist Jindefog

Seafury Buccaneers - South Freeport (On the Docks)
Squab Kalina and Boatswan Fomas


So now you know who to look for lets go go go and start killing the real evil in the land of Norrath

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

EverQuest 2 - The Return of the Light

The Return of the Light is a Heritage Quest which has a series of Quests before the final battle of the Quest.  Here are some guidelines to help you get through this Heritage Quest.

You can pick up this quest at level 18 however it is recommended that you be level 20 before entering the last few quests of this Heritage line. 

You start the quest by Examining the Burned out Lightstone dropped from the lightbringer wisp.  You can find this North of the Ring of Nature (Druid Rings) in the Commonlands.  Waypoint destination is around 800,- 60,- 200

Once you have examined the item find ‘Connix’ and he will send you to find the following:

The Mourned at  -590,-48,-629
The Forgotten at 172,-45,260
Rama’nai at 878,-58,11

Rama’nai is a lion you must kill before returning to ‘Connix’ who will then send you to kill the following Orcs:

Captain Geary at -855,-48,668
Captain Ogaf at -645,-48,461

You must return, again, to Connix and he will send you to kill more Orcs at the following locations:

High Priest of Valmar at the top of the tower at 382,-47,230
General Drull in the instance - Blood Skull Valley.  Go to 215,-48,667 first and then to -4,-48,729
General Drull is a Heroic and comes with 3 massive mobs so you will need a group to complete this part of the quest.

After completing this instance return to Connix and begin speaking to him.  He will be attacked but you need to let him die and re-spawn before finishing the quest or the quest will not complete.

So there you have it.  If you decide to jump into the land of Norrath and go adventuring and happen to come across the Light bringer wisp then you’ll be on your merry way to completing this Heritage Quest.   The reward for this quest suits a wizard or a necromancer well as it boosts stats for intelligence and wisdom.


Thanks for reading and have fun !!

Monday, 18 November 2013

RIFT - Beginners guide for solo Rift Warrior.

What Paladin build is best for solo PVE in Rift?

I have been playing rift now for two years and still remember running through the open Beta test thinking this was a great game.  The fact that you can be running around happily questing one minute and have an invasion coming along the road at you the next is great chaotic morpg fun.

I am a casual player so don’t ever play a morpg for the end game …yet, however in saying that part of the fun of playing rift  is being able to hold your own when you’re caught outnumbered by the sudden invasions, I have indeed, been caught and squashed like a bug with various mage builds but never with my Defender. The following spec is a levelling spec which will allow you to roam Telara exploring,  rift chasing or just questing quietly. 

The Defender is a brilliant tank, currently at level 42 you should have spent 56 points in your soul tree.  You will have the Warlord, Paladin and Rift blade souls but you do not spend any points in
Rift blade  at this point.  You focus the majority of your points in the Paladin soul tree spending a total of 40 points.  Your Warlord soul tree should have 16 points in it.


With the Defender you are using sword & shield so your focus is on defence, armour and block are key to the success of this type of warrior. If you prefer duel wield fighting you need to look at building a champion spec, if you want to fight with two handed weapons, this can be ok but, only,  if you build for offence, you can still be outnumbered on occasion without the defence though as the defender is primarily made for tanking.

When upgrading your armour, always try and use the gear from the rare planar goods.  Planer gear has good stats and is cheaper than buying off of the auction house.  You gain the planarite from closing rifts, defeating footholds and being involved with invasions (you also gain various source stone currencies doing invasions too)  

The most confusing thing for me when I first got involved with rift was the Source cores you got, what is the best way to stat them?   I have a good set up which seems to keeps me alive when running quests or rift chasing.  I use the amplified Source core which allows you one Greater planar essence and three lesser planar essence.   The greater essence is the ominous shade source which grants a bonus to certain moves, the three lesser essences are the Mighty force planar, the lesser scintillating deepstone and the Flamelord rage essence.   Each of these grant stat bonuses to various attributes however much of this goes towards strength, block and critical moves.

This build has taken me through all of Moonshade Highlands easily, even when I accidently pulled 7 undead, I lived to tell the tale.  I have tried my luck in Iron pine peak during the beginning of the  storm legion invasions before the expansion hit, and I took the same build onto the beta test for Storm legion and it did really well if it was level appropriate.   I love the dimensions so in order to find the best options for dimensions at level 38, I ran my defender through Tulan, to get to Tempest bay for all of the dimension options  and dimension goods.  I can say although she did a lot of ducking and diving she made it without a single death scene.


So there you have it, if your new and you have little idea of how to build a solo toon, this should help you on your way.  Happy questing!! 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Types of Rifts



 In the MMO Rift you come across various types of rifts.  Firstly you have the Elements; Earth Rifts, Fire Rifts, Death Rifts, Air Rifts and Water Rifts.

Within these rifts there are many different types.  I have come across four different types of Death rifts alone.  They are different dependant on the event and the zone. 




The Death rifts you can see in the pictures are only two of the four I have come across but I will give you some tips.
In the Rift with the skeletal dragon it tells you to kill 30 lost souls.  If you come across this type of Rift when you are solo run past it.  Yes, I said leave it alone.  It is impossible to kill 30 of these lost souls alone as the float towards the dragon and they do not retaliate so you would spend hours trying to do this.

If a rift has ghostly looking wolves in it you need to draw the wolves to the sparkling headstone before killing them as when they are caught by this they change so as you can now kill what it tells you to in the rift Quest.  If you don’t do this you end up killing these ghostly wolves to infinity as they are not in the correct form to register the kill within the rift.

You do get two other rifts which are basically standard rifts however; beware, in one of these the big dude in the centre splits into around 12 soldiers so stand back and only use area effects if you are with a group, otherwise pick them off two by two.

I have put in some pictures of different rifts, the dark ones are Death rifts and the bright colourful ones are life rifts

Hope this helps you with your journeys through Telara!


All pictures taken form in game footage and courtesy of Trion. 



RIFT: Warrior Class - Beastmaster


After writing about the Warrior class: Defender I thought I would potter around with my Beastmaster and test that out for solo ability. I like to write from a beginners perspective and never play for end game results so can only recommend you find experts in the raiding field if you are looking for end game information.

I try to keep it simple but please feel free to ask questions if I don't cover what you’re looking for and I will answer asap. The Beastmaster build is a support class build but actually did pretty well in level appropriate areas. At level 44 I now have 60 points spent in the skill tree as follows:

Beastmaster Soul Tree

As you can see Riftblade is left as the zero spec tree whilst 40 points are spent in the Beastmaster tree and the remaining 20 in Paragon. In order to solo you really do need this detail of the build. Unlike the Defender who has excellent healing capabilities, this build is limited for healing. Take what healing you can get from this build because if you are mobbed whilst alone, the heals that you do get, can help to a degree, if used wisely.

The Beastmaster is a fun build to play, but make no mistake it is not a Tank. Beastmasters' kill faster so you can move through quests a lot quicker than a defender if you are fighting one on one or one on two; any more than that at a matched level and you can go down fast. Glass cannon could be a word used to describe the Beastmaster as a solo class but it does the job well if you avoid the mobs.

I use Planer armour (you get the planer to pay for the armour from rifts and invasions - and in some areas daily quests too). I use sword and shield as this seemed to work better for solo rather than a two handed weapon. I was planning to try Duel wield with this build but just did not manage to find a good set of swords, this is something I still plan to test and will update when I have more information on this.

The only real downfalls to playing this build solo are Rifts and Invasions unless they are a level or two below. My first level appropriate Rift with this build caught me off guard and I did 'face plant' (die); after that however I managed to pick the Rift mobs off one at a time and I managed to close the rift but it was slow (even slower than my tank).

The invasion however was a different matter. I stood no chance trying to run in and go on the offensive, defensive action was not much better. My point is that if you are an invasion chaser and you really want to join in invasions with this build you cannot solo them, you need to be involved in the public groups.

So There you have it. If you are new to Rift or MMO's in general, it is a great game with loads on offer but depending on your play style you may want to prepare yourself for a tougher challenge playing this build. If however you’re looking for a more solid Tank build you can click the link at the top of the page for more information on that.

Many thanks and I hope you enjoy the game as much as I do.

Rare Planar goods Vendors in Rift - Telara/Mathosia


I decided to write this article as we have had a lot of new players in game asking where the planar vendors are.  Planer vendors are in game NPC’s that trade you good armour/Weapons for Planarite different types of source stones (which you gain by joining in with Invasions).  These are forms of in game currency.  I highly recommend you seek them out as soon as you have your first 150 planarite and source stone as you can get your chest piece and leggings and this improves your stats greatly at low level.

Where do you find these vendors then?  First off, you’re looking for the Rare Planer Goods vendor and you can find them in the following locations.

In Freemarch you get the Porticulim to the Arch and run up the hill to ‘Kings Retreat’  you can see the vendor standing at the forge with the green arrow above her head.



In Stonefield you need to get to Granite falls (preferably via the porticulim) and run towards the Wardstone (Big grey and red stone over there) . The vendor stands beside this.


In Scarlet Gorge, you need to make your way to Scarwood Lift Base, you can port to it via the porticulim if you have connected previously.   If you look at the pictures you can see that the platform has a wooden ramp going up.  The planer vendor is at the end of the wooden Ramp.


In Scarwood Reach, you need to head to Perspice.  Again via Porticulim if you can, you can see the Rare Planer goods vendor in the picture not very far from the porticulim in Perspice.


In Moonshade Highlands you need to go to Timberveil, again the vendor is not far from the porticulim standing by the tent and little machine.


Finally (On the Mathosian map)  in Iron Pine Peak you need to run to (or port to) Whitefall Tavern, this is a tricky little town with lots of twists and turns into little squares of houses but ensure you head for the porticulim and you will see the NPS in the long white robes opposite, that’s your vendor.



Well I hope this little tour helps you get that good armour a little quicker now without you getting lost first, Happy Questing and ….make sure you close the Rifts on your way past !!

Seven room Neriak House in EQII

Neriak House

When I play EQII, I am normally hiding in one of many houses I have procured over the last 6 or 7 years and there are many. I sometimes log in just to decorate and set up homes rather than go questing and its worth the final result as any EQII house decorator will tell you.

This House originally began as the 5 room house in Neriak but over the years  two more rooms to it.  It is a good house to start with as its big enough to get an idea of how to decorate without having too much space so here is what I managed to do with mine the first time around. All of this was done before I found out about EQII Layout editor and before the wall dividers were available on the station cash market so it took many grinding trips to get enough tokens for the city festivals in order to get what I needed.


This was my Necromancers ritual and prayer room.  I used Neriak floor tiles.  to get the dark marble effect on the walls I used Freeport Dividers



I had a look out set up on a newly set second floor on the entrance and a Welcome bar for visitors.  I hand built the steps to it using  Grobb benches.



I built a torture Dungeon in the basement and used the tin helmet you get form the Bristlebain quest to fit to a chair so as it looked like an electric chair.   (Remember she is a Necromancer )






When the balcony appeared I had no idea what to do with it so this is what I came up with, although I could probably do better now.


Any way I hope you enjoyed my tour around an EQ II House and please check out my others as I also have Thurgadin Hall, amongst others on the way.

EQII Tinkered Townhouse


I was wandering around my housing in EQII and taking pictures left right 
and centre, trying to get some good pictures for my blog when it occurred 
to me that my favourite little Tinkered town house was absolutely full of 
moving items.  I wandered around trying to take more pictures to show 
this but it just didn't work.

Well it is not in my nature to just leave it out or make do so I did some 
digging, learned how to record in game footage and viola!!

There are four rooms and each room is pictured below but ....There is also 
a video to give my Tinkered Town-house the view it needed to show all of the equipment.  

Just about everything was gained from collecting the tokens during tinker fest 
(except the table, chairs and bed which are still tinker style items and 
cost me nothing to make). 

Tinker Room
This room is full of moving parts and equipment and it had been so long since 
I had messed around with Layout editor I did it all by hand, it felt great when 
I had finished it. 

The Living Area
Just a quiet calm place in the town-house

The Boiler Room

Full of boilers and engines along with some pollution coming form the pipes 
in the corner.


At the beginning of the video is the entrance area,  sit back and enjoy the
 tour. 









EQII Housing - Thurgaden hall


When I first bought Thurgaden Grand Hall I knew from the start I wanted to see what I could do with the massive caverns at the back so I threw myself off of them to get an idea of how far you could drop before being re-loaded to a safe spot. I found the height and then had the task of clipping the first tile as low as it would go so as I could get started. Finally with many hours work (I did practically everything by hand but had to use layout editor for the stone bridge) I have the fist section of the lower Garden done, but I have since discovered I can get further down so you will see a set of steps leading to the start of another level at some point, (I got bored crafting grass squares after the first level) but all of the upper Caverns and lower lever caverns are completed now. There are many different areas in this housing project so I have sectioned the pictures and the videos to break them down.

The Cemetery

The Cemetery This house belongs to my Arasi (this is an alt in the pics as taking pictures with a taller toon was easier), Necromancer so there is a Cemetery and a torture garden, other than that I take the caverns into a haven for the Arasi with flora and water pools scattered around. Oh and there's a Sauna and Baths room too.

Baths

Baths & Sauna

 Here you can see an overview of the lower Caverns. Hours of work went into placing many many grass squares before

View from the top of the Caverns

A Little greenery

I got the plant life and ponds placed. My little mushroom garden When I discovered how to record in game however I was able to capture even more of the lower and upper caverns. Here they are:



Friday, 25 October 2013

Everquest II Guides and Tips - Writs in Neriak

First off, what is Ever-quest II? Ever-quest II is a MORPG that does exactly what it says on the tin, Quests are forever, you never run out of quests in this game and there is always something to do.

You can log on and quest, craft, design your very own house (or in my case my very own 15 houses) or you can level and play the dungeons as you go. Ever-quest II is also (if my mind serves me correctly) coming up for its’ 10th anniversary now so it is a well established MMO with loads to do and regular expansions out every year or two.

Where to find the writs in Neriak 

Writs are quests that gain you faction points within certain factions, you can then use their vendors to buy things with your faction status points. Neriak is one of the evil factions along with Freeport (which I will update later) It is a city built inside a mountain so it’s quite dark with many twists and turns and if you are new to the game it’s easy to become lost in there so here are your Writ NPC’s to help you on your way.

Level 20-25 Writs are available from ‘The Spurned’. This is a Mages faction and can be found in the Library of K’orn. You need to speak to ‘Laexa K’Oziana.

Level 30-35 Writs are available from ‘The disciples of Innoruk’, Priests faction. You need to speak to ‘Nathffyn DO’Vinitar’ to get the writs for this level.

Level 35-41 Writs are also available from ‘The disciples of Innoruk’, Priests faction. You need to speak to ‘Ervin T’Kix’ for these writs.

Level 41-45 writs can be found with the Scouts in ‘The Ebon Mask’ when you speak to Diuimar G’Zule.

Level 51 - 55 writs can be found in ‘The walk of the Dead’ section of Neriak in the midst of the Necromancers and Shadow Knights when you speak to ‘Quevolg S’Torate’

Level 55+ Writs come from ‘Kirak N’Tan who can be found with ‘The Indigo Brotherhood’ in the dockside markets area of Neriak.

So if you decide to play an Asarri, a Ratonga or a Dark Elf you could find yourself in Neriak. Feel free to go speak to some of these um…polite NPC’s and do your duty for Neriak …and earn yourself some faction status too!



Picture Courtesy of in game footage from Sony Online Entertainment

Rift places in Telara. Where are you?


For anyone that is relatively new to Rift and joined because Storm legion looked amazing...Welcome and it is amazing !

The worst thing about any MMO though is not knowing what to expect when you get to a new area so I decided to take a few pictures to show you some of the places you can get to through the porticulims around Telara.


This is Scarlet Gorge base. There is a hub here of Rare planer goods vendors, PVP vendor and general goods. You have a porticulim and a healer so it’s a really good bind spot. When you reach this hub however there is nearly always an earth rift on one side (which you don't need to go near) and there is always a foothold, usually Death at the other side which I advise you take out at every opportunity as they can get in the way when you are sent further afield. Scarlet Gorge has some hidden corners so make sure you explore or you will lose out on some quests.

Scarlet Gorge

The Chancel of Labours is in Iron Pine Peaks which if you can start solo at level 40, it is mainly level 40 to 50 zone but for small groups unless you are built for solo of course. I do have a solo build warrior soul tree you can look at and more info about playing solo in this article. The chancel of Labours is a large building and nice to look at but make sure you go all the way through to the back, past the globe or you will miss out on quests.


Chancel of Labours in Iron Pine Peak

When you look at the lake out at the very start of Iron Pine Peak be wary of which direction you explore in as there are different levels at north east and west side. There are Air and water elemental around and on the lake however there are also elites so be aware of what you are attacking before throwing the first hit. 

Also be aware that if you want access to the new content from the Storm legion expansion, make sure you choose the option to Tulan as this is a clearer route to the new map, if you choose Daemon loci you will be in a confined area with lots of fighting to get out of the first gate.





Thanks to Trion: Photo's are taken from in game footage within RIFT or the Trion worlds website.

Sorting out all my Gaming Notepads

OK to those of you who do not play MMO’s this may sound strange but to all of those people out there that like to track their Characters and make sure they are self sufficient with crafting you will understand…I hope, otherwise that just means I am an OCD Gamer ha ha .

The other night I was archiving all of my college stuff and notebooks as basically my term is over for all of one topic now. As I was going through these notebooks I found five of them were old gaming notes about various games.


In one I have skill training planned for two of my EVE characters and that just made me want to go back and use the plex in the corporate hanger so as I could dip in and play for a month or two again. I have a military based character and an explorer and they can be really fun to play if I am in the right mood to battle it out with 30 pirates or just go exploring and looking for wormholes. I am a casual player so I stick to sectors over 0.5 and occasionally chance my luck in 0.4 sectors, sometimes I am lucky and others …kaboom lol.


Another notepad had my old LOTRO notes in it, I actually uninstalled this over a year ago so these notes were thrown out. I had notes on Characters and Heritage Quests in two different books for EQII and these also made me want to log back in and play for a while but I suppose this is FTP now so I can if I want too.


Finally I found my notebook for all my RIFT stuff so I can update it and stop having to log in and out all the time to see who does what.


What I do have to do now though is go through all of these notes and maybe just re-write them all into one notepad as I know I will end up logging into EVE or EQII at some point so I am off to go start that now, anyone who has played EQII knows how long the heritage quests are so wish me luck on re-writing all of those! 


Picture of Eve Online Ammar Fleet attack; courtesy of and CCP 


World of Warcraft - Night Elf Druid

As previously mentioned in an another article there are various reasons WOW has recaptured our attention. Being able to play a really smooth game in regards to the graphics is one of them. Story-lines have become much more in depth and catch your curiosity more. Game simplicity is another reason for returning to World of Warcraft. They have made levelling easier and quicker too so you feel like you are getting somewhere now. I am able to walk into areas now that I got no-where close to when I played previously due to previous expansions and world destruction and its great.
If you are thinking of getting into a new morpg/MMO any time soon there are a good few out there right now but if you have ever played WOW or are completely new to the world of morpgs World of Warcraft is a must. With Mists of Pandaria due for release in September now is a good time to start too. I have no idea what the panda’s will bring but I am really looking forward to some of the story lines to come and following them all the way.

Will I do this with a Pandarian however? Who can say? At this time I am more than happy running around with my Night Elf Druid who has now hit level 30. At this point I will say that I am a casual player with no great knowledge of raiding. I do however have a good knowledge of playing solo or grouping and for casual players who like to dip in for an hour or two a couple of nights throughout the week, this knowledge can take you a long way when playing solo.

I chose to play a Night Elf Druid because I love Teldrassil. Teldrassil in all its glory is named by the Night Elf’s as the World tree of Azeroth. It is in fact the lesser Tree as the actual world tree was named Nordrassil. Nordrassil however took huge amounts of damage in the third war and it is said that Nordrassil will take many years to heal and re-grow. Many races believe that when Nordrassil is fully healed that the Night Elf’s will regain their immortality again. The city of the Night Elf’s, Darnassus was built on the world tree Teldrassil. Everything is decorated in white marble and the city has a regal look to it.

Darnassus is one of the easiest cities to navigate around which makes life easier for me as I have no sense of direction. The quest line is a simple one and although there are some references to later expansions such as Wrath of the Lich king and Cataclysm, their Quest line does not really change much until you are sent to Darkshore. Whilst working your way through Teldrassil however it is advisable to run to the outer most edges of the tree as there are one or two new, updated and fun quests to be discovered when you do.

Darkshore was hit badly after the Cataclysm and my first impression of it after remembering what it used to look like was (excuse the cliché) WOW! My first words if I remember rightly were “What the hell happened here?” This was closely followed by a stream of look at this, look over there and wow look at that statements. Now I have not been further than Stonetalon mountains as yet but from the devastation seen in Darkshore I am really looking forward to travelling through Azeroth and seeing what else Deathwing brought about.

Playing solo with a Druid is a fun experience and now I have hit level 30 I am looking forward to being able to duel spec my talent tree, however I am awaiting the patch 5.0.4 before doing this as there are some major game mechanic changes coming up in this area. (More later on that).
I have however chosen the Balance talent tree for my Druid. This spec allows me to damage or heal as long as I am not caught of guard with any large mobs. Using the balance spec I can comfortably deal with one on one elites (or two on occasion) and groups of two or three mobs at a time. I do sometimes need a breather after the battle if caught off guard, however carrying food and drink supplies as well as keeping up with various potions normally helps to speed up the rest break and I can move on. I would at this stage normally let you know where I have spent the talent points to give an idea on what works (for me, there are many other mixes out there so look around the net for other options too or just try out your own ;). Due to the patch update at this point however I feel it best to wait and set up an article for various talent trees at a later date.

Trade skills are important tools for any class. My Druid has taken herbalism and inscription to help boost her stats to help her in battle and lessen corpse runs. If you are new to the world of morpgs, corpse runs are few and far between. WOW seem to have kept that and it is now rarely seen in other games but I don’t mind it. It makes you focus more on things that will stop you dying such as good talent tree specs, good armour and a trade skill that backs up what your class needs. There will be more about these aspects of the game later too.

Overall I am only level 30 but in a casual player background getting to level 30 in under 6 weeks and having 8 other alts all above 20 is classed as good going. If you are the kind of player that likes exploring and following story lines a Night Elf druid is a good starting character and Teldrassil is a good starting zone however there are many other races to choose from and many other classes and over the next few weeks I will be writing about each one.

I am not one for die hard specs, specific armour, weaponry or inflexible class/race mixes so bear with me as I take you through the world of Azeroth from the eyes of a casual player.